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Opening Arguments

The Devil made them do it

I hate being in my "It's a sick, twisted world" mood, but living in a sick, twisted world will do that to you:

A Colorado couple says they are the victims of a hate crime because someone stole a “VOTE SATAN” sign from their front porch, but police say the incident sounds more like simple theft.

Luigi and Angie Bellaviste describe themselves as Satanists who belong to the Church of Satan, an organization “dedicated to the acceptance of man’s true nature – that of a carnal beast.” They believe whoever cut down the fabric sign from the porch of their home in Mountain View, a suburb of Denver, was targeting them because of their religious beliefs.

“I feel like we’re being treated unfairly because it’s not a so-called mainstream religion,” Luigi Bellaviste told CBS4 in Denver.

What's sick and twisted is that they're not kidding or merely trying to be provocative with a claim they know is outrageous. Given the prevailing reverence for self-esteem and our pathologically latitudinarian culture, it seems perfectly reasonable to them to feel like the victims of a hate crime. Furthermore, they will have plenty of sympathetic supporters -- don't be too terribly shocked in the ACLU steps in.